Interaction of palliative care and primary care

Clin Geriatr Med. 2015 May;31(2):207-18. doi: 10.1016/j.cger.2015.01.001. Epub 2015 Feb 18.


Primary care physicians are often the first medical providers patients seek out, and are in an excellent position to provide primary palliative care. Primary palliative care encompasses basic skills including basic evaluation and management of symptoms and discussions about goals of care and advance care planning. Specialty palliative care consultation complements primary care by assisting with complex psychosocial-spiritual patient and family situations. This article reviews primary palliative care skill sets and criteria for when to consider referring patients to specialty palliative care and hospice services.

Keywords: Primary palliative care; Referral; Specialty palliative care.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Advance Care Planning
  • Aged
  • Decision Making*
  • Geriatric Assessment / methods
  • Humans
  • Palliative Care* / methods
  • Palliative Care* / organization & administration
  • Palliative Care* / psychology
  • Primary Health Care* / methods
  • Primary Health Care* / organization & administration
  • Quality of Life*
  • Referral and Consultation*
  • Symptom Assessment / methods